Commentary | Obama has resurrected America

Hyde Park

November 4 was a great day for America, and a victory for the world. Obama’s message of hope and change has inspired millions of people around the globe. His movement is magical and borderless, something easily demonstrated by the millions of Americans from all ages and races coming together to stand up for something new, sincere, overwhelming.

I’m thinking about the large number of volunteers that fuelled this campaign: college students, seniors, mothers, and all those individuals who shared unlimited trust with one another, sacrificing time and money for a movement bigger than themselves, bigger than their nation – an unstoppable movement that has reached a global scale.

I’m thinking of Simon Bevis, a pioneer in introducing organic farming in his home state of Alabama, devoted to his land and determined to improve his community.

I’m thinking of Edmur, a recent green card holder from Peru living in the South Bronx, sleeping every single night on a plank of wood. When it would be so natural to complain, Edmur still firmly believes in Obama where many others have long lost hope in the political establishment.

I’m thinking about Doris, an African-American woman living in the Memphis ghetto, scarred by a world she remembers too well, where because of her gender and her race she faced outrageous injustices. She saw herself disenfranchised from many fundamental rights in a society were she felt insulted everyday by signs such as “Whites only,’’ and gross divisions like “White Ladies; Coloured Women.’’ Remarkably, she never displayed any anger whatsoever, and successfully founded and managed a family where her kids would receive love and attention.

We were all waiting for change, most of us for eight long years, others for decades. Everybody that showed enthusiasm for this candidate might have different interests and values at stake, but this is what makes the American people rich and diverse. Barack Obama has reconciled a fractured America with itself, and with the world. He is the resurrection of what had been a lost dream, uniting America’s differences.

The American ideal has been renewed. It’s time to take a new direction, and adopt a new leadership, economically, military, and morally. From this election, a new norm has been framed, stating that in the 21st century, anyone, any background, and any race can achieve their dreams. Further, the U.S. has restored its standing, and remains what John Winthrop declared in 1630: “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.”

Where else but in America would the son of an African immigrant raised in a modest and fragmented family achieve self-determination, burn down fortresses of discrimination, and be recognized as the nation’s leader?

Last Tuesday, a new chapter of the history of mankind was launched, and we are embarking on a new era, with new ideas and trends in art and literature. That said, the newly elected president will face several challenges before delivering his promises, and everything remains yet to be written.

America, you’ve won me back.

Louis-Guillaume Roldan is U1 Political Science student. He can be reached at lg.roldan@mail.mcgill.ca.


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